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I loved this book!
First off, it is freaking gorgeous. Secondly, it is just so well-written and amazing.
Some of this history was a review for me since I've read all of the Deltora books, but it was cool to have all of the mythology/history all in one place. It is basically The Silmarillion of the Deltora world.
This is such a cool idea for a book. It is broken into two sections: the Tenna Birdsong Tales and The Deltora Annals histories. This first is treated as mythology/fables (or is it? eyebrow raise) whereas the second is treated as a historical account of the formation of Deltora. It was all so interesting.
The first section of the book consists of little tales, which read in a similar fashion to The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The second half tells of Adin and how he forged the Belt of Deltora, collected the talismans of the seven territories, and how together they defeated the Shadowlord (the first time). The second half of the book does get a little dark and gruesome (war and all that) so maybe not a good fit for very young or sensitive readers. But the whole thing is just fascinating.
Rodda also sets up the Detora series very well at the end of the book, foretelling of the Shadowlord's return.
Each chapter/story is accompanied by a gorgeous illustration by Marc McBride.
This is such a great companion novel to the other Deltora series. It can be read before or after the other ones. Benefit to before is that you know all of the history and backstory stuff going into it so you can pick out where it is referenced in the actual series as you read. Benefit to after (like I did) is that you can recall where the stories/histories popped up in the series as you read about them here. Either way, I think it works.
Great, great read. So awesome. It makes me want to read all of the Delora series again. I am going on a roadtrip soon soooo... who knows?